Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence
Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence is the thirty-fourth chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ â€˜Ulum al-Din); which is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. In Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence; Abu Hamid al-Ghazali considers two themes dear to Islamic devotional literature: poverty and abstinence. Taking as his example the Prophet’s love for the poor; Ghazali explains that poverty is not simply an accidental state of destitution that might befall anyone but rather an inner acceptance of the Will of God and a form of abstinence for His sake. Thus the life of poverty described by Ghazali in Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence refers to what every devoted follower of the Prophet is meant to adopt whatever his or her outer state may be.
This volume also includes a translation of Imam Ghazali’s own introduction to the Revival of the Religious Sciences, which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the Revival and which places each of the chapters in the context of the others.
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), theologian, logician, jurist and mystic, was bom and died in Tus in Central Asia, but spent much of his life lecturing at Baghdad or leading the life of a wandering dervish. His most celebrated work. Revival of the Religious Sciences, has exercised a profour d influence on Muslim intellectual history by exploring the mystical significance of the practices and beliefs of Islamic orthodoxy, earning him the title of Hujjat al Islam, the ‘Proof of Islam’.
Dr. Anthony F. Shaker is the author of several studies including the only complete study of Sadr al-Din Qunawi. He is also the translator of Al-Ghazdli on Intention, Sincerity and Truthfulness and Al-Ghazdli on Vigilance and Sdf-Examination in the Islamic Texts Society’s al-Ghazali Series.